You may ask yourself the question, how could listening to music possibly help a writer during their creative process? How do music and writing go together? Here are some things to consider when pondering the idea.
Some may consider it to be nothing more of a distraction, but for me listening to music while I write helps me to block out unwanted noise surrounding me. There are certain songs and artists I have become accustomed to, that because of listening to them so much, the beat of the music very quickly becomes a blur and I can focus on the words I am typing out.
My taste of music is eclectic. I can listen to a groovy R’n’B song which has a sexy feel to it when writing a love scene. I can listen to an upbeat rock or metal music when writing a pumped up scene involving fight or flight. I can listen to a slow pop ballad when writing that soppy love declaration scene and happy ending. And I can listen to any genre or song that seems to fit what I am trying to portray at that moment in time. Playing the song on repeat over and over again helps to achieve that.
For me, The Script’s ‘Six Degrees of Separation’ is a song I associate with with grief after losing a much loved family member, so much so that I can’t listen to it without crying. There is power in words, and sometimes it is the rhythm of the music which evokes it. An example being the beat at the start of The White Stripe’s ‘Seven Nation Army’. The heavy bass beat could be tied in with the heartbeat of someone who is feeling nervous or scared, and their heart is pounding hard in response to the events occurring.
Some writers like to write as a means of method writing. I have read online and watched programmes on TV which have explained there is a direct link between music and memory. From experience I know this is true.
I remember listening to Katy Perry’s ‘I Kissed A Girl’ during my college years, and my actions at the time. Myself and my friends were together painting a shed, we were having a fool around and a great laugh.
I remember listening to Scouting for Girls’ ‘She’s So Lovely’, which was just released at the same time I met my husband. The song was playing while we played a game of pool.
I remember going to the gym and rowing along to Take That’s ‘The Flood’ because they are on a river and rowing during their music video. It helped me to achieve a personal best. Sounds funny, but it’s true.
So listening to music, in particular songs you have a connection to, it helps you to delve deep into your memory and remember how you felt at a specific moment in time.
Sometimes listening to a song can spark inspiration. As a panster, I found this to be true. I mentioned the song I listened to while playing pool with my husband, all those years ago when we first met. I decided to throw it in as a scene in my first novel.
Listening to songs can help flare up the imagination and creativity, whether or not you find it comfortable to listen to music during the time you are writing, or as means of relaxing when you are not writing.
If you want some more ideas for where to find inspiration, have a look my blog post, ‘Where To Find Inspiration For Writing.’
You’ve read my thoughts and experiences of how music and writing go together, but please pop a comment on social media to share yours.